Why Old is Gold

One thing that many people mistake about creativity is that, because it is associated with originality and modernization, it has to be something that was never done or even attempted ever before. The bigger problem is many have actually come to believe this, which is why new artists who are still struggling to make a name for themselves are finding it hard to break the ice. Most of them are having a hard time when it comes to deciding on how they would go about building a foundation for their talent. They are too cautious, rather fearful, about being called a cliché. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again; the moment you pay attention to what your critics say, you should either prepare for a meltdown, or worse, the death of your creative career. Although, you really don’t have to lose hope if that should happen because you can always start from scratch once you’re through the whole mourning process. The point is, disregard any negative things people say about your recycled work or concept because if it turns out to be a success, no single criticism will matter. In fact, you can laugh off any defamatory statement said about you or what you’ve created.

 

These days, everyone (not really, but many people I know) always get overly excited about Thursdays and Fridays. Why? It’s because they get to post old photographs of them (or friends and family, sometimes even celebrities they like) to reminisce and somehow celebrate a holiday that’s barely even legit, and use a hashtag (#) on the posts followed by words like ‘throwback’, ‘flashback’, or ‘circa’ plus the year the photo was taken. The photos, although no longer in their best condition, seem to look very artsy, thanks to photo editing apps on tablets or most smartphones, the most popular of which is Instagram. The whole objective of the app is having its users express themselves creatively through photographs. Basically you use old or recently taken pictures then add some filters, frames and other elements so that it comes out looking new, different, unique. The funny thing is, even though they didn’t require much effort, these pictures get a lot of likes and are re-blogged or shared on other sites. I’m actually not one of those people who enjoy doing these things, but I’ve got to admit, some can be pretty creative in their own way. Some of them don’t mind having similar themes or concepts with other users, in fact, they like to keep up with what the rest of the world is doing. And it’s not a cliché, but instead, a trend.

 

Personally, I don’t think having similarities with others in terms of work or expression takes away one’s authenticity. That is something not even the most creative mind, not even geniuses, can escape from. We either have things in common or differences. The classics are timeless. Any attempt on remaking or re-creating them is a form of flattery directed towards the original creators. Whether the remakes do justice to the classics or not, what counts is, it’s good enough that they bring these old masterpieces back to life. The good oldies will always live through time, but that is the work of the present generation to keep the memory of their glory days alive. That is how you as modern day artists can contribute to your respective art forms. It doesn’t have to be within blood ties to be a legacy. You must be brave enough to create what you can in the present, with help from what you’ve learned from the past, to live beyond your time and make it to the future. And in the future, where your creation is considered old, who knows how many people would find it gold?

 

Our admiration of the antique is not admiration of the old, but of the natural.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Where to Find Inspiration in the USA

In one of my previous posts, I have mentioned that one way of rekindling your passion for creativity is by travelling. I thought the idea was too general. So now, I have decided to research places to give you specific examples of where you should book your next flight to if you’re eager to get inspiration through travel.

 

Seven continents,  and a total of 196 countries in the world today, but let’s see the sights in the USA first. If I could, I would list down all the cities and states, but that would take forever and I want to makes sure to pick out the top destinations that have an inspiring prospect written all over them. (If you think I missed a place which you think is worthy of this roster, feel free to write it in the comments section.)

 

  • The White House – You don’t have to be a devotee or be into politics to be able to appreciate the Presidential residence.  There is so much you can get from looking at the place and its surroundings. It will help stimulate your thoughts on democracy and its foundation. With a little reinforcement from historical facts, you might even be able to write an essay or a novel following a plot that is parallel to a significant event in history.
  • Las Vegas Strip – In the gambling mecca of the world, you will learn that one bet can change your fate. The same thing can happen when creating something. One risk you take can take your art to the next level. Some names and themes of the casinos can inspire either romance, mystery, or even fantasy. What happens in Vegas doesn’t always have to stay in Vegas. You can take the experience and the lessons along with you and apply them in your work.
  • Niagara Falls – It has more than 14 million visitors yearly. Many of these tourists are just after the beauty to behold, or only to take one dream destination off of their checklist. But as an artist, you are to think of yourself as a special tourist with a deeper reason for witnessing this water form of wonders. Writing fantasy? Why not add this element to your setting and just change its name?
  • Golden Gate Bridge – Bridges in general are inspired by people who value connection. It is important to note that an artist must have an intimate connection with his work, and maintains a good relationship with other artists that he or she is collaborating with. The symbolic bridge connecting San Francisco and Marin County has a bright red-orange color, intended to make it more visible through thick fogs. Like the link between you and your creation, it must be very obvious.
  • Space Needle – Can’t start getting creative on an empty stomach? No problem. At 500 feet above ground, you can eat at the SkyCity Restaurant. Once you’ve had a taste of satisfaction inside this one-of-a-kind skyscraper, you can start getting ideas for your next sci-fi novel. Physically, you are right at the heart of Seattle, but your mind can go to as far as an imaginary galaxy.
  • Grand Canyon – It’s impossible not to include this on the list. The intricacy of its landscape gives its visitors a remarkable panorama that leaves you in nothing but pure astonishment. It is not the only canyon in the world but it truly deserves to be called ‘Grand’. It doesn’t matter what kind of art you are working on, the Grand Canyon will give you an outburst of ideas. One thing that it can particularly contribute to your creativity is that it will prod you to pay closer attention to details, because the most minute of them can disturb the entirety of the project.

 

The United States of America is one of the largest and most diverse countries in the word. You can choose more than one destination to look for inspiration. It is the land of the free and the home of the brave, two of the many key characteristics of a great artist.

 

Yet America is a poem in our eyes; its ample geography dazzles the imagination, and it will not wait long for metres.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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